659 S.MAIN STREET
STEWARTSVILLE, NJ 08886
KELLY POFF & MARYKAY SCHULTZ
We pride ourselves on offering some of the best instruction on the east coast. Our instructors have many years of experience as well as college degrees in the equine industry. Every instructor has different backgrounds and knowledge which come together to produce extremely well rounded and educated students.
"You can not train a horse to a shout and expect him to obey a whisper"
Owner & Trainer - Kelly Poff
Kelly is the Head Trainer and Co-Owner of TNEC. She started riding at the age of 5 with Mrs. Whistle at Hob Nob Hill in Easton, PA. While growing up she showed at several Hunter/Jumper shows an worked at local barns schooling horses. Financially Kelly's family could not afford for her to have an extensive show career so instead she rode and cared for other peoples horses to help pay for her own horse. After high school Kelly attended Potomac Equestrian Center in Gaithersburg, MD where she graduated first in her class with a degree in Equine Management, Training and Instruction. While attending college she worked with such trainers as Lynda Oliver in dressage, Laura Buch and Grant Shneidman in eventing as well as others. She also worked with animal actors where she cared for the animals in the Radio City Music Halls' Christmas show as well as caring for "The Black Stallion." After graduating Kelly found the love of teaching and training children and horses is truly where her heart was. She has successful students from mini-stirrup thru Medals. She also has had students placing in the top 10 at Nationals for IHSA as well as coaching some students to a win in equitation classes at the Appaloosa Nationals.
If asked, the most important thing to Kelly is to see her students over come any obstacle and do there very best while feeling a sense of pride in themselves. Kelly is also the director and choreographer of the Top Notch Equestrian Centre Drill Team.. The team has performed at the Bonnie Brae Polo Classic, Warren County Fair, Phillipsburg's Old Town Festival, 4-H State Championships and more. The team also performed for a few years at the Olympic Head Quarters in Gladstone where they were asked to be Good Will Ambassadors for the Olympic Team.
Trainer - Rebecca McGregor
Becky grew up with her mother's passion molding her into the horse woman she is today. When Becky was young she showed her Welsh Mountain pony, Jubal Troop, to many championships on the PennJersey Show Circuit as well as excelling in 4-H. When her mother moved to Windy Way Farm she got a chance to ride with other kids. It was at that time she started in pony club and enjoyed the thrill of cross country jumping. As a child she enjoyed doing catch rides at horse shows for other local trainers as well as breaking ponies. When her mother relocated the business to NJ, Becky and her sister Brittany became the "guinea pigs" for breaking and training ponies, problem horses and off the track TB's full time! Becky purchased her first horse when she was in High School and was successful, often bringing home championship ribbons as well as year end championships. Becky went on to attend Morrisville State College where she competed in IHSA in the "Open" level. She graduated with a degree in equine science and also was bit by the breeding bug. Becky has done many clinics with such people as Chris Kappler and Candice King as well as others. She also has gone through the training and now has her Equine Appraisal License. She has been teaching for TNEC since 2001 with successful students from mini-stirrup up to the mini-medals. Becky also trains and shows our babies in-hand with lots of success!
When starting horses, my focus is on giving them a solid foundation from which they can go into any discipline. The philosophy and techniques I use are based on classical Dressage and natural horsemanship methods. After bringing a horse along, it is equally important to me to bring you, the owner/rider, into the picture. By doing this, I can help you build a strong partnership with your horse and give you the knowledge you need to continue into whatever discipline you choose."
Becky has a tendency of being the comic relief at TNEC and enjoys bringing unconventional colors into the ring just to spark a reaction from her mother. There is never a dull moment if she is around. You can check out her Champion Welsh pony stallion Brookside Pink Magnum on her website www.rebedonfarm.com
Owner & Manager - Mary Kay Schultz
Mary Kay is Co-owner of TNEC and is also our Barn Manager. Her initial exposure to riding was sneaking onto the thoroughbred training facility that bordered her grandparent's home in Paducah, KY. There, she and her brother would ride whatever horse they could catch, riding in an open field with only a halter and lead rope. Surprisingly, and thankfully, neither of them was killed, and eventually they were caught. The trainer took her under his wing and allowed her to ride under his supervision. Only visits to her grandparents allowed her to ride and summers were spent learning the care and handling of horses (only got to ride if you worked). Gymnastics occupied the remainder of her time and eventually she went on to become both a coach and a judge (Level 5/6 USGA), with all three of her children involved in gymnastics. When injury barred her youngest daughter from the gym, the subject of horses came up and before you know it both mother and daughter were spending endless hours at Belclare. A Masters Degree in Sociology, almost 20 years in business (becoming the first woman Plant Controller of Allied Signal Corporation), extensive knowledge in the care and handling of thoroughbreds, coupled with an overwhelming passion for mucking stalls, made her the perfect candidate for a venture with Kelly Poff. Their combined experience made for a great team, one that encompasses great training of both horse and rider and the experience to run a business in a professional and competent manner.
Office: 908-213-1300 Address: Located on the Gracefield Farm Complex at 659 South Main Street, Stewartsville, NJ
Trainer - Sashi McDowell
Sashi comes to us from Autumn Acres Equestrian where she was the owner and trainer for 16 years. Her focus when coaching is on educating the rider to be a well-rounded equestrian both in and out of the tack. Sashi’s knowledge is endless as she has been around horses her whole life. She started riding at the age of 8 in Utah and never stopped. She continued riding with a variety of top quality trainers including Benson Caroll in California as well as Nona Garson in New Jersey. At 17, she began teaching small children at Fox Hill Farm in Chester, New Jersey and new instructing would be her life passion. Later, Sashi went on to attend Centenary College where she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Equine Studies in 1998. After graduation, and some time under the instruction of a Grand Prix instructor teaching, training and selling young horses, she decided to start her own business. From 2000 – 2016 Sashi took her own business from a small dream to a huge success. Autumn Acres Equestrian under the ownership and instruction of Sashi lead many students to success in the Hunter, Jumpers, dressage and equitation rings. From “A rated” show to local horse shows her students always succeeded. Sashi is a great asset to the Top Notch Equestrian Centre Team and we look forward to her continued success!